Saturday, October 6, 2012



                                Long, Long ago on an island far, far away. 

                                Oh! how the mighty have fallen.

My God, what one would give to be able to turn back the hands of time and return to those days of political incorrectness and little responsibility.
Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine I would eventually evolve into the aged, overweight specimen, with aching and creaking joints, that I have become. At least I have had the company of the same mischieveous brunette for over 40 years to date and I hasten to add I never would have made it without her, despite the never ending ear bashing I am subjected to on a regular basis. I'll tell you one thing though, she can paint and does so as often as she can. Several of Gabi's paintings are gracing various homes around Sydney and locally.

Long gone are those times when it was nothing to down copious quantities of that frothy amber fluid and the next morning be responsible for making rash promises to one's self to give up drinking altogether. Nowadays it's the odd beer on special occasions, the odd glass of mainly white wine and bucketloads of lemon cordial that prevent the two of us from dehydrating.

The sad thing recently has been the number of family members, close friends, aquaintances and neighbours who have passed on, owing to the ravages of time that fate inflicts on all of us eventually. It has made me to become aware of my own mortality and memories of those long gone good old days, spent in the company of so many good friends and wonderful people, have once again been flooding through the cobwebs of my mind. It has made me aware that I was blessed to have been given the opportunity to be a part of them all and to realise how fortunate I was to have had what I once had.

Surfing at its exhilarating best.  South Maroubra.
A great way of life.
The current headquarters.

The proposed new HQ.
At time of writing the plans for the brand new Surf Club building have been drawn up and I am led to believe construction will commence within the next 12 months or so. It will be sad to see the old clubhouse fade into history, but in all fairness, it has definetly passed its used by date. 

The end result was as follows........

The Taj Mahal

Coffee Shop
Coffee shop with Restaurant upstairs
A quiet drink at QY's
Nice view.
Ahh! The aroma of burnt meat....Yum.
Surfing in its purest form.

Someone has to do it.

I am certain that Gabi too has her favourite memories relating to times gone by, but she tends to keep them to herself, whereas I get a buzz out of making some of mine known to all and sundry. When I start reminicsing about the past, there really is not much that I experienced that would not be regarded as the norm for the average person. For me however, it was many of the simple things that meant so much to me and none of them have been, or ever will be forgotten.

The exhilaration felt when wave riding on my racing surf ski, the thrill of bodysurfing, the indescribable feeling of excitement of riding my Malibu, even more exciting when surfing with the beautiful blonde headed Paula.

The adrenalin rush when the plywood surfboat starts sliding down the face of a green wave over six foot tall.
The tender and loving moments spent with the odd steady girlfriend when alone together. There were quite a few cuties who made up the numbers every now and then and even though they could never be regarded as steadies, they more than contributed to making life as it was then memorable, to say the least. Participating in just about any activity with either one, or both of the two sisters, Paula and Lesley, especially when parked in the Fiat 600 outside my Annandale home saying goodnight to each other after an eventful weekend in the club and on the beach etc. Boy, did I look forward and love being given a lift home by either girl in that little Italian rocket on Sunday evenings.
There were the all too numerous drinking sessions at the Newport Arms, Mona Vale hotel and the Avalon RSL, the many trips to just about every Drive In theatre in and around Sydney with someone pretty to snuggle up with, Ten Pin bowling at Balgowlah, Squash at Newport and Avalon and when in season the Stock Car races at Westmead of all places. I tell you those westie petrol heads were besotted with young blonde headed Paula as there weren't too many of her quality at the races. At times it was like swatting flies keeping the interested ones at bay. The Sunday evening drinks at the Surf Club, known as QY's and the many Bucks nights and mixed functions held in the Surf Club building on a regular basis were always popular and were well supported by all of us.  During the early 60's we had the Stomp dance craze take off at Avalon, which led to a large increase in club membership and enabled us to make a sizable  payment on our mortgage. We ended up owning the clubhouse building years sooner than anticipated, as the State Centre loan was paid back before the end of season '64-'65, if I am not mistaken.

To sum up, what made it all special were the many friendships that were created and being aware that one was giving up a portion of one's time to perform a valuable public service. Despite all the mischief making and at times over the top behaviour, beach patrols were regarded as the main reason for our presence and existence. If push ever came to shove it was a Three Musketeers situation namely, 'All for one and one for all' that clicked into place. Shortly before I started this blog there was a tragic accident in one of our rivers involving members of the North Narrabeen SLSC. To enable the Narrabeen members to grieve and come to terms with their  loss, members of the Avalon club volunteered to take responsibility for Narra's Saturday beach patrol. Even when it comes to other clubs, the aforementioned situation also applies as well. 

Avalon and Nth. Narrabeen Girls Crews.
All of us had, what was then a modern well maintained building in which we entertained ourselves. We cooked our meals, we slept in the bunkhouse, or on the verandah out front, we consumed the odd amber ale and lager, we stowed our gear and showered and had all our various surf craft stored safely in the boatshed. As members of the Surf Boat crew we were required to compete at many an Open or Restricted Surf Carnival and somehow found time to do so.
Our backyard was the Avalon district and our front yard was the sacred beach and Pacific Ocean.

One can only hope and pray that there is an afterlife, because time is beginning to catch up with all of us. Imagine the reunions and sheer excitement when all of us mischief makers are once again in the one place, the mind boggles at the mayhem that will most certainly eventuate. Saint Peter, who is in charge of the keys to the Kingdom, better see to it that he never lets the keys to the fridge out of his site, otherwise the angels and God Almighty himself will not be getting a wink of sleep at any time day or night.  ( Providing of course, we all make it upstairs that is )

                                                AMEN TO THAT        


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